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Joshua Wilner

Faculty and Staff Profiles

Joshua Wilner


NAC 6/317B
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A specialist in Romanticism and critical theory, Professor Wilner joined the City College Department of English in 1985 and the faculty of the CUNY Graduate Center in 2000. A former Chair of the Department and Director of the Program in Comparative Literature, he most recently served the College as Senior Faculty Advisor for Undergraduate Education. He is a former President of the International Conference on Romanticism.


A.B. in French Literature, Cornell University, 1969

Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, Yale University, 1980

Courses Taught

Introduction to Literary Study

Representative Writers of the Romantic Period

The Freudian Text

City Texts

Problems in Contemporary Theory

The Industrial Revolution and its Discontents

Interpretation, Evidence and Authority

Thinking in Pieces: Pascal, Dickinson, Wittgenstein

Wordsworth's Prelude: Origins and Afterlife

Lyric, Prose, Modernity

Critical Reading and Writing

Historical Introduction to Literary Theory

Freshman Composition

Freshman Inquiry Writing Seminar: Literature and Psychoanalysis

Research Interests

Professor Wilner's main areas of interest are Romanticism (especially Romantic poetry and autobiography) and critical theory. Current projects include Wordsworth and Mandelbrot on the Coast of Britain: Romantic Poetics and the Fractal Geometry of Nature and Thinking in Pieces: Pascal, Dickinson, Wittgenstein.


Feeding on Infinity: Readings in the Romantic Rhetoric of Internalization (recipient of Jean-Pierre Barricelli book award of the American Conference on Romanticism). Hopkins, 2000.

Selected recent publications:

Wordworth's Poetry: 1964-2014;commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the publication of Geoffrey Hartman's Wordsworth Poetry: 1878-1814. A special issue of, Essays in Romanticism. Ed. Andrzej Warminski and Joshua Wilner. Forthcoming, 2015.

"Pitching Apocalypse," in Wordworth's Poetry: 1964-2014 (v. supra).

[On Geoffrey Hartman on Christopher Smart], in About Geoffrey Hartman: Materials for a Study of Influence. A special issue of Philological Quarterly. Ed. Frances Ferguson and Kevis Goodman.Forthcoming, 2015.

"Autobiography," in William Wordsworth in Context. Ed. Andrew Bennett. Cambridge, 2015.

"The Mathematization of Nature: Galileo, Husserl, and Mandelbrot," in Protocols for a New Nature. A special issue of The Yearbook of Comparative Literature, ed. Eyal Peretz and Paul North. 2014.

"Migrations of the Bohemian" in Messianic Thought Outside Theology. Ed. Anna Glazova and Paul North. Fordham, 2014.

"'Communicating with Objects': Romanticism, Skepticism, and the 'Specter of Animism,' in Cavell and Wordsworth," in Stanley Cavell and Literary Studies: Consequences of Skepticism. Ed. Richard Eldrige and Bernard Rhie. Continuum, 2011

"Wordsworth's Cliff-hanger," in Romantic Autobiography in England. Ed. Eugene Stelzig. Ashgate, 2009


Jacques Derrida. Shibboleth: for Paul Celan, in Word Traces: Readings of Paul Celan. Ed. Aris Fioretos. Hopkins, 1994.

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